Dear Abby: I am a stay-at-home mother who is about ready to explode!
I love my children with all my heart. At one time, our first child was very sick, and we went through a lot to adopt our second child. Both experiences made me realize how deeply I love my little ones.Lately, I have completely lost my "thrill" with motherhood and homemaking. If I have to watch "Barney" on TV one more time, wipe one more chin, change one more diaper or dust one more table, I will go berserk! What's wrong with me?
Two other stay-at-home moms in our neighborhood have left their homes and families. Both are now divorced, living in apartments, and the kids are with their fathers. What scares me is that I completely identify with these women.
I have a part-time job three mornings a week while our daughter is in preschool. I find myself looking forward to those mornings. At home I have frequent headaches, but at work I feel great.
I used to have a wide range of interests and a quick wit, but I feel my personality shriveling up and dying while I sweep, do laundry and clean up after the dog. My family needs me. I have a responsibility to them, which I fully intend to keep. I'm afraid when I'm through there won't be any "me" left. What can I do?
- Not OK Kaye
Dear Kaye: Your feelings of being suffocated by motherhood are not uncommon. However, your first responsibility is to be a loving and caring parent. If you must spend a little more time away from your children in order to accomplish that, it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you.
Consider increasing the time you spend at your part-time job as well as hiring someone to help with the housework. Finding a balance that works better for you will make your time with your family more enjoyable - for everyone.
Dear Abby: For the past seven years, Jack, my live-in boyfriend, and I have parked in my garage, and my son "Al" has parked on the street. Al is a straight-A college student and has worked to pay for all of his college education. I pay the insurance on his eight-year-old car with the child support I receive.
Jack has not worked steadily in the past five years and contributes about 10 percent toward the monthly bills. I use part of it to pay the insurance on his eight-year-old truck. (He keeps his tools in a locked toolbox in the back of it.)
Al gets up every day and goes either to school or to work, returning home between 6 and 9 p.m. Jack (when he's not working) usually leaves his truck in the driveway all day and puts it in the garage at night.
Who should get to park in the garage? There are three drivers and three vehicles, but I have only a two-car garage. Please help me resolve this. I desperately need an unbiased opinion.
- In a Dilemma
Dear In: Since you are the principal wage earner and pay the lion's share of household expenses, you are entitled to use the garage on a regular basis. Jack and Al should alternate on a monthly rotation.
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